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Warner Bros backs Blu-ray

Studio will no longer produce rival HD DVD format from May; move seen as critical for HD format war

Warner Bros, the largest home entertainment studio in the world, has announced that it will cease support for the HD DVD format from May. The company will now exclusively back Sony's Blu-ray format, giving Blu-ray around 70% of the high definition market.

The move, which Warner said was made in response to consumer demand, is seen by many as being the decisive move in the high definition format war, with Blu-ray emerging as the clear winner.

The New York Times quoted Richard Doherty, research director at market research company Envisioneering Group, as saying: "The overwhelming industry opinion is that this decides the format battle in favour of Blu-ray".

While studios including Paramount, Universal and Dreamworks still have agreements to continue putting out new releases exclusively on HD DVD, Blu-ray now has by far the largest share of the market.

Kevin Tsujihara, president, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group, said in a statement: "A two-format landscape has led to consumer confusion and indifference toward high definition, which has kept the technology from reaching mass adoption and becoming the important revenue stream that it can be for the industry. Consumers have clearly chosen Blu-ray, and we believe that recognizing this preference is the right step in making this great home entertainment experience accessible to the widest possible audience."

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